Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression

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Overview

A searing, raw memoir of depression that is ultimately uplifting and inspiring.

A successful magazine editor and prize-winning journalist, Sally Brampton launched Elle magazine in the UK in 1985. But behind the successful, glamorous career was a story that many of her friends and colleagues knew nothing about—her ongoing struggle with severe depression and alcoholism. Brampton's is a candid, tremendously honest telling of how she was finally able to "address the elephant in the room," and of a culture that sends the overriding message that people who suffer from depression are somehow responsible for their own illness. She offers readers a unique perspective of depression from the inside that is at times wrenching, but ultimately inspirational, as it charts her own coming back to life. Beyond her personal story, Brampton offers practical advice to all those affected by this illness. This book will resonate with any person whose life has been haunted by depression, at the same time offering help and understanding to those whose loved ones suffer from this debilitating condition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A British fashion industry insider, Brampton wrote for Vogue and the Observer before launching Elle magazine in the U.K. By midlife, she had a successful, creative career, many close friends and a lovely daughter. Everything was going fabulously-until she fell apart. A paralyzing depression gripped her so intensely, she finally acknowledged that she needed to be institutionalized. Unfortunately, she was one of the many with "treatment-resistant depression"-high-tech pharmaceuticals just didn't work for her. As she cycled in and out of mental wards, survived suicide attempts and tried countless therapies, she learned a lot about depression-the stigma surrounding it, how it's triggered, the range of available therapies. With unflinching honesty, she describes her own experiences as well as sharing her research, letting readers "take from it what you need and leave the rest." Brampton is particularly good at describing the currently favored therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and cognitive mindfulness behavioral therapy. Her openness to all sorts of treatment, including acupuncture, is refreshing, as is the ease with which she advises friends and family on how to be most helpful. Brampton's story is accessible and endearing. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Sobering account of a British fashion writer's struggles with alcoholism and clinical depression. The daughter of an oil-industry executive whose work took him to posts throughout the world, Brampton (Love, Always, 2000, etc.) spent much of her childhood in the Middle East, South America and Africa. In a debut memoir weakened in early chapters by a deluge of dull scientific data on depression, the author asserts that her peripatetic upbringing in an emotionless family left her vulnerable to mental illness and dependency on alcohol. Unable to shake her increasingly dark moods and daily consumption of at least two bottles of wine, Brampton eventually sought professional help. She writes with arch and revealing wit about her on-again-off-again odyssey with antidepressants, detox centers, in-patient psychiatric facilities, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and addiction therapy sessions (during which participants bandied "Group of Drunks" as an acronym for God). Brampton is especially skilled at detailing the self-delusion, denial and furtive uncontrolled drinking that, she notes, compound the real and imagined pain of those in the grips of alcoholism and despair. She devotes a chilling chapter to her ultimately ill-fated decision to withdraw cold turkey from prescription drugs that had kept her, despite complications, on a relatively even keel. Writing with stoic, self-mocking charm, she attributes her failed suicide attempts to unreliable Internet chatter on the best methods to achieve a fatal overdose. Still, Brampton notes that her triumphs as an acclaimed journalist helped her to maintain a nurturing, upbeat relationship with her teenage daughter through it all. In closing passages, theauthor writes of a hard-won recovery program that includes yoga, transcendental meditation, gardening, walking, B vitamins and abstinence from booze. She also married a man she'd distanced during the full-throttle phase of her disease. A tough opening slog gives way to a compelling story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393066784
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/16/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Brampton lives in London and is a highly acclaimed novelist, columnist, and journalist. She also teaches fashion at the Fashion Institute.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Don't Look Down     1
Myself So Far     12
Bedlam and Leeches     16
Throat Monsters and Other Terrors     26
Self-Absorption and Symptoms     40
Losing My Balance     50
Breakdown     65
It's No Picnic     74
Leaving Hospital     86
Fine Is a Four-Letter Word     97
Genetics, Family and Other Disorders     109
Home Is Another Country     125
Emotional Memory     138
What We Resist Persists     145
The Elephant in the Room     152
Who Am I?     168
The Second Loony Bin     174
Travels Through Therapy     197
Withdrawal     208
The Beginning of the End     223
Suicide, the Last Goodbye     235
The Tipping Point     247
Making Sense     255
Turning Left     270
The Useful Stuff     291
Coming Through     304
Notes     311
Helpful Reading     317
Thank You     319
Index     321
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    No wondw Stupid

    No wonder its called famn bog

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 5, 2013

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    Posted October 28, 2011

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